Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer reading list: Food edition

The committee that runs the James Beard Foundation's book awards just released a new list, "Fourteen Great Reads for Food Lovers," a collection that focuses on food writing. Following the committee's earlier lists of great books, including 2010's Baker's Dozen, 13 great cookbooks on baking, this one covers memoirs, essays and fiction.

The books were picked by the current committee, including Andrea Weigl of the Raleigh News & Observer; authors Naomi Duguid, Grace Young and Martha Holmberg; food writers Carol Mighton Haddix and Irene Sax; book sellers Matt Sartwell and Ellen Rose; and wine writer Tara Q. Thomas.

The list:
1. "The Art of Eating," M.F.K. Fisher (John Wiley & Sons).
2. "Between Meals: An Appetit for Paris, by A.J. Liebling (North Point Press).
3. "Blood, Bones & Butter," by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House).
4. "Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War," by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press).
5. "A Debt to Pleasure," by John Lanchester (Picador).
6. "An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace," by Tamara Adler (Scribner).
7. "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food," by Jennifer 8. Lee (Twelve).
8. "Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany," by Bill Buford (Vintage).
9. "Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen," by Laurie Colwin (Vintage).
10. "The Man Who Ate Everything," by Jeffrey Steingarten (Vintage).
11. "Oranges," by John McPhee (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
12. "The Oysters of Locmariaquer," by Eleanor Clark (Ecco Press).
13. "Simple Cooking," by John Thorne (North Point Press).
14. "The Tummy Trilogy," by Calvin Trillin (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). (Of course, that last one actually counts as three books -- it's really three of Trillin's earlier books, "Alice, Let's Eat," "American Fried" and "Third Helpings.")

What do you think? It's there a book of great food writing that they left off the list?


Anonymous said...

7. "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food"

ashley said...

Definitely "Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper" by Fuschia Dunlop.

It's so good; you'll be ready to hop on plane to China for all the bugs and spiciest things.

Anonymous said...

Rohan said

Get rid of #3 (it's just not that good) and replace with "Soul of a Chef" by Michael Ruhlman. Reading about the CIA's master chef program was fascinating not to mention side trips with Michael Symon (before the insipid Chew tv program) and T Keller

Anonymous said...

This is not a suggestion so much as my to do list.. 52 Loaves, Spoon Fed, My Last Supper, Kitchen Confidential, Harold McGees On Food and Cooking, Born Round and a few of the books in the vein for Michael Pollan.

list of food said...

very nice

joan childress wilkerson said...

"Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant" is another good read. It's a collection of essays (some with recipes!) about cooking for one.

Kathleen Purvis said...

Excellent suggestion, Joan. Thanks. If you liked that, you definitely should try Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking."

Rich said...

"Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink" (though it doesn't have one of my favorite "food" stories, John McPhee's profile of the mysterious chef "Otto." But that story, "Brigade de Cuisine," is in McPhee's "Giving Good Weight.")

"Making of a Chef," Ruhlman

"Kitchen Confidential," Bourdain

"The Belly of Paris," Zola

Kathleen Purvis said...

Good suggestions. Thank, Rich.